I didn't think it was possible, but this book was even more intriguing and amazing than Ender's Game. Yup, I said it...and I simply adored Ender's Gam...moreI didn't think it was possible, but this book was even more intriguing and amazing than Ender's Game. Yup, I said it...and I simply adored Ender's Game so that's a big deal.
The depth that this book have just amazes me. I was so invested in all the characters that I found myself getting angry when they made poor decisions. I wanted to jump into the book and yell at them. Or when they made hard decisions, I wanted to give them the companionship they were looking for. It takes a lot for a book to make me cry and only this and the Hunger Games have succeeded in that.
This book also has depth in what it addresses in terms of politics, religion and the like. I can see why others were disappointed. It is definitely not as action packed as the first book. However I think that is truly what makes this book so much more touching. It reaches in and wakes up parts of you that you aren't sure you were willing to deal with. I can see why older readers would get more from this than younger readers as well.
I am not sure what else to say, besides the fact that this is a great book. If you are a lover of Science Fiction, if you enjoy books that make you think about society, this is a book that you will fall in love with.
Orson Scott Card has my undying love now. I cannot wait to see what else he has in store for me.(less)
Elizabeth Scott still floors me with her writing! In fact, it has been so long since I read her other books that this book made me want to read them a...moreElizabeth Scott still floors me with her writing! In fact, it has been so long since I read her other books that this book made me want to read them all over again.
This book is adorable, it is true, it is just brilliant on so many levels! Sarah is a main character that everyone will be able to identify with on some level. We follow her in a friendship that is so real, you will find yourself thinking about your "friend" you had like Brianna. A toxic friendship, but one also deeply filled with need. Reading Sarah's inner thoughts and guilt was always intriguing, but never overwhelming. I found myself adoring her more as she grew as a person.
The love in this story, both between friends and between couples, is also so true to life. Brianna's struggle with her divorced and uncaring parents, again so true. Elizabeth Scott takes all the things that her readers might have faced as young adults and addresses them in a way that only she can.
My ultimate take on this book is simply that it is true and touching. I truly believe that every young girl should read this book at some point. It might prompt them to do a little soul searching as well. (less)
Opening up The Exemeus was quite the experience. From page one, this story takes off at a manic pace. There is so much to absorb, so much to catch up...moreOpening up The Exemeus was quite the experience. From page one, this story takes off at a manic pace. There is so much to absorb, so much to catch up on, that it all but left me breathless. This isn't like anything else that I've read lately, so it swept me up and made me want to figure things out. I'm just giving you a warning that this book doesn't stop to wait for you. It moves, and it moves quick.
The story follows Dephon as he slowly discovers who he is, and what he is meant to to do. As the heir to the one power that can save his society, Dephon is wanted man. We watch as his story ties up into Hyalee's over the course of the book, showing that these two are inexorably linked. The narration comes from both characters, but not quite the way you'd think. Dephon is our narrator, and he reads about Hyalee through a journal that is passed down to him. It's a very interesting perspective and done quite well. This story is all about cause and effect. If you change something, does it change the future?
In terms of plot, this book is fairly solid. There is a lot to learn about the people in Dephon's world and about the powers that they possess. The biggest problem comes in that you don't start to learn the majority of it until well into the book. I was fairly confused for a good five chapters or so. The saving grace was that I really liked Dephon, and I was willing to follow him wherever things might take him. He's brave, kind, and everything that a hero should be. While I never really felt he quite hit his full potential, I know there are more books coming around the corner.
Overall, I ended up enjoying this story. The Exemeus is a book that utilizes the "slow burn". You'll be scrambling to catch up but, once things start happening, the story sucks you in. Dephon and Hyalee's stories are intriguing. Especially in the way they link to one another. If you're looking for a different kind of read, and are willing to step outside the box, give this one a a shot. (less)
Elephant Dance is a superb and simple look into India's customs and landscapes for children! Ravi, a young boy living in America, learns about this fa...moreElephant Dance is a superb and simple look into India's customs and landscapes for children! Ravi, a young boy living in America, learns about this far away land from his visiting grandfather. I loved how grandfather described everything in India. His descriptions provide the perfect opportunity to teach children about similies!
The end of the book has pages with more information about India, about the animals in the book, and about the spices and foods that are mentioned. I was enamored with the fact that there was so much information about India packed into a children's book! Although the writing itself is simple enough for young children, this is definitely a book that you could use with older children as well.
My class simply adored the pictures. Each page is so bright and detailed, it's extremely difficult not to be interested in the story. I was able to read the entire 40 pages without a single second grade child fidgeting. That in itself is an amazing recommendation!(less)
Just as amazing as the first! Jerry Spinelli is truly a master.
I throughly enjoyed the new cast of characters that found their way into Stargirl's lif...moreJust as amazing as the first! Jerry Spinelli is truly a master.
I throughly enjoyed the new cast of characters that found their way into Stargirl's life in this book! From tiny Dootsie to the infamous Perry, I loved them all. It was refreshing to read things from Stargirl's point of view for a change, to see how she was affected by Leo.
Once again what I love most about this book is just how true Stargirl is to herself. Yes, she goes through moments where she questions who she is, but she always finds her way back to her true self. Not afraid to be odd, not afraid to be different, not even afraid to be unpopular. Her attitude and passion shine off of the pages.
I recommended the first of these books to everyone I knew, and they will hear about this one as well! Leo and Stargirl forever!(less)
Okay I will not lie, this book was a bit difficult for me to start. I opened the pages, read the writing and cringed. One of the things I love about g...moreOkay I will not lie, this book was a bit difficult for me to start. I opened the pages, read the writing and cringed. One of the things I love about good YA fiction is that they cater to their audience. This book...it went a little overboard with the "hip teen" writing style.
Still, I took a deep breath. I reminded myself that I read YA fiction a lot and there are still great stories buried under that slightly obnoxious writing style, and I read on.
The story is great! It is intriguing, it is funny, it is just fun! I will definitely read the next book just to find out what happens to Zoey and her cast of characters. So yes, I do recommend this book. Just be prepared to see past the writing style, and you will have a fun read!(less)
From the very first page, this book is pure enjoyment in the form of words! This is the type of book that doesn't try to take itself too seriously, an...moreFrom the very first page, this book is pure enjoyment in the form of words! This is the type of book that doesn't try to take itself too seriously, and no I don't mean that it isn't written well. What I mean is that the blindingly obvious pun will jump off the page at you and all you can do is crack up laughing. Any book that makes references to Buffy, Angel and the whole Whedon crew automatically wins points with me! I don't want to ruin it by referencing it exactly, but let's just say that there is a Buffy reference in here that had me rolling with laughter! The jokes, the acerbic wit, all of it just made me fall completely in love with this book.
Now on to the characters. Those of you who read my reviews often know that I have to love my characters. If I'm to enjoy a book, they need to be interesting and fun! Enter Sunny and Rayne, the identical twins. They may be identical in appearance, but in personality they are total opposites. Sunny is the sporty, school-driven twin who is trying to get on the radar of the resident "Sex God". Rayne, on the other hand, is a goth at heart who has an affinity for the vampire kind. It was this yin and yang between them that allowed me to connect with both of them equally. They completed one another in the best way possible. There was such fantastic chemistry between them, and the witty banter was amazing!
Remember how I said that this book doesn't take itself too seriously? Well that means that you, my dear readers, shouldn't go into it without the proper mindset. Let me explain. Sunny is a teenager. Sunny does not want to be a vampire, especially not right before prom. Sunny deals with this issue like any typical teen would, with massive amounts of snide remarks and observations. So yes, it's true, sometimes Sunny can be a little obnoxious in the way she speaks and acts. However, keep in mind my friends, this is a satirical type of book. Think Buffy! It's meant to be taken with a grain of salt and big heaping helping of humor!
Can I be honest? I loved this book. Every single minute of it. Sure, there were times when I thought the "teen speak" might have seemed a little heavy, but I've read books (that I won't mention the name of) where this issue completely turned me off of reading the book and the rest of the series. Sunny's way of thinking and talking didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story at all. This is coming from vampire novel skeptic of the highest caliber. Trust me, it means a lot. Don't go into Boys That Bite expecting anything less than a fun and light read! If you're not smiling at least a little at the end of this book, you're either a robot or an alien. Both of which, I might add, are not nearly as cool as a vampire.
Let me, right here right now, profess my total adoration of Ms. Kate Daniels. Actually, scratch the Ms. title. She'd probably kick me in the chest for...moreLet me, right here right now, profess my total adoration of Ms. Kate Daniels. Actually, scratch the Ms. title. She'd probably kick me in the chest for even considering titling her that. Kate is a kick-ass heroine of the highest caliber! She doesn't take crap from anyone, she has a wit to be contended with, but she has a huge heart too. Bleeding, hungry and exhausted, Kate will still kick your behind into next week if you mess with one of her friends. That's the type of person she is, and I completely love her for it!
Although she's not the greatest sleuth in the world (and she'll admit that to you outright if you ask), it's up to Kate to figure out who killed her guardian. Unfortunately for her, a lot of crazy things happen to make things even hard. Ilona Andrews builds a world that is both familiar and surreal at the same time. Atlanta has succumbed to waves of intense magic. Buildings crumble, otherworldly creatures appear often, and Kate is lucky enough to be right in the center of it all. Following her through her rather bumbling investigation was hilarious, intriguing, and amazing! I enjoyed every minute of it, even after I had already figured out what was going on.
Best part about our violent heroine? She's independent. Sure, men come and go in her life. They think they can woo her, because after all she is a woman. Right? Wrong. Kate Daniels knows what she deserves and she hasn't found it just yet. I'm not going to spoil anything, but let's just say that there are some delicious options for her! A lesser woman would have had quite a time staving off the affections of two gorgeous men. Hell, I did and I'm not even in the story!
At the end of the day I totally loved Magic Bites! I was a little confused initially because of all the info that is packed into this first installment, but I can easily tell you that I'll be back for more. Everything that Ilona Andrews gave me I ate up and I want so much more! Book two, here I come. More Kate, more sarcasm, more awesome. Bring it on.(less)
If you haven't had an opportunity to read my review of Boys That Bite, please click here and go take a look. It will give you some insight into the ut...moreIf you haven't had an opportunity to read my review of Boys That Bite, please click here and go take a look. It will give you some insight into the utter fangirl that I've now become for Mari Mancusi's writing. Oh yes, I'm smitten. Or as Mari would probably say once bitten, always smitten? Something like that :).
To reiterate what I've said before, what I love about The Blood Coven books is just how much fun they are to read! Sunny and Rayne are hilariously snarky characters, and they possess the ability to ooze snarky humor while still being completely serious. The cast of additional characters that surrounds them grows a bit larger in this book, and I fell in love with each and every one of them. In fact, I do believe that I have a new crush. Dark, brooding and sexy vampire with an accent? Yes please! Where do I sign up for one of those?
In all seriousness though, the plots of these books are pure deliciousness. Sunny and Rayne's adventures are quick moving and well thought out. The pop culture references are in this book are plentiful but not obnoxious. However what I love most of all is just how well Mari Mancusi sticks to the lore of the bloodsuckers I love so very much. Taking cues from the Whedonverse and beyond, she makes her vampires come alive and I appreciate it!
This particular book is written from Rayne's point of view, and it is unique in that we read about her adventures through her blog entries. For those of you who haven't read the first book yet, yes, Rayne does blog. Her blog is hilarious too! I throughly enjoyed reading both her witty entires, as well as the comments at the end of everything chapter. The undercurrent of side stories within the comments was hilarious and well placed. Have I mentioned that I love this book?
I'm rambling now, so I'll stop. Suffice it to say that this book series has me hooked! I've already finished the third one (review to come soon) and have the rest on my wishlist at the library and on my Christmas list. This is a series that I like to call my "guilty pleasure" and I'm not ashamed to admit it. LOVE!(less)